Murphy-Goode’s “Dream Job” Winner – and What It Means for Wine

Vinted on July 22, 2009 binned in wine industry events, wine news

And just like that… it was all over.

What was arguably the largest publicity-minded event in the history of U.S. winemaking is over, as the reality-TV-inspired A Really Goode Job contest thrown by Murphy-Goode winery has finally come to an end.

I’m extremely pleased to report that 1WineDude.com friend Hardy Wallace of DirtySouthWine.com has been named the winner, and will begin his 6-month post as Murphy-Goode main media man on August 15th.

Frequent 1WineDude.com readers will recall that Hardy was my pick back in May when the contest first started taking off.  Personally, I’m pleased as sangria-punch to see Hardy get the attention, accolades, and the job of his dreams. You can view the entire press release on the winning announcement here.

The entire event garnered a massive amount of publicity (both positive and negative), and saw job opportunities open up to several of the participants as wineries were exposed to the increasing power of social media and Internet-based marketing as a result of the campaign.

What does it mean for the world of wine? It’s good news for Hardy, great news for Murphy-Goode, and even better news for wine and social media as a whole…

The whole thing is good for wine, period:

1) It’s brought together ‘new’ and ‘traditional’ wine media.

Those in print, radio, and TV who cover the world of wine have, through the M-G promotion, come face-to-face with their social media, on-line counterparts.  The trained, paid media few and the mostly-independent, untrained social media many have converged, and probably found that they have far more in common than they otherwise would have believed. They need each other; they support and augment one another.

2) On-line activity is now officially big news.

Just when the wine industry needs it most, the M-G initiative is giving it a publicity boost and a shot in the arm.  What the competition proved is that wine can be big news, and on-line wine activity can be even bigger news – and can attract a talented, young, and passionate audience (which also happens to be exactly what the wine industry needs).

3) Murphy-Goode Fallout = Wine Media Jobs

Much has been written both on- and off-line about the future of wine writing.  Well, we’ve just seen at least part of that future, and it not only involves writing but also involves bringing together an understanding of how various on-line social media tools interact effectively to promote wine brands.  Is this the same as independent wine writing?  No.  But it is a glimpse at the future talent requirements of at least some aspect of wine coverage, and it’s resulting in more jobs than just the M-G dream job itself.  Will other wine groups and brands follow suit?  Probably – and that is not a bad thing, it’s an evolution of already existing thing.

Best of luck, Hardy – not that you’ll need it.  I’m looking forward to seeing where you’re taking things, now that you’re a leader in the social media space (whether you like it or not! :-).

Cheers!

(images: areallygoodejob.com)

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    Comments

  • Chris Donatiello


    This is very exciting for the wine industry, and for social media. I will love to know how they will measure his success.

    • 1WineDude


      Great point – how they measure Hardy's impact might end up becoming a standard, after all…

  • Kjell Kallman


    Good point, Chris. The bar has been set pretty high with 300M impressions and $7M in ad value. It will be hard to top, but I'd be willing to bet that it will be about keeping the momentum and the spot light on M – G as others try to find ways capitalize on this success.

    It will be interesting to see how this is addressed at the upcoming Wine Bloggers Conference this week.

    • 1WineDude


      Hopefully we'll address it over drinks and toasting his success! ;-)

  • Chris Donatiello


    I met Hardy at drinks this past spring at the High Museum Auction in Atlanta. Very nice guy. I hope M-G doesn't just use him through his contract time, and cut him loose bc they already got all the mileage out him him (and social media via mainstream) they can.

    • 1WineDude


      Totally agree – having met him at WBC last year, and keeping in touch with him since then, there's no question in my mind that he's got more value to offer than what can be wrung out of him in only 6 months.

  • Steve Heimoff


    Here's what I wonder: Now that Hardy is the official voice of MG, will his writing (tweeting, blogging etc.) be seen as independent and credible? Or has he now taken off the hat of independence in exchange for that of paid marketer? What we may be witnessing — as Joe implied — is not so much the rise of social media as an independent voice, but the wine industry co-opting it for its own P.R. and marketing purposes.

  • Chris Donatiello


    wow. Steve, great point.

  • 1winedude5036


    My take on this: Hardy has established himself as an independent voice. In matters pertaining to M-G, I'm going to assume he's not independent. For matters not pertaining to M-G, I'm going to assume he *is*, unless proven otherwise.

  • St. Vini


    I've questioned this before, how can he be credible as a paid voice for MG? What happens when he ultimately leaves? If credibility is of any importance, isn't he just going to be shouting at people to come drink some wines that come from the KJ tanks, only with a different label? This seems 180 degrees from what family-owned wineries are doing by using social media direcly. Can you really prostitute out this function and have it be successful? Doesn't it have to come from an owner or the winemaker, and don't most of them arguably have more effective uses for their time?

    • 1WineDude


      Good questions. We'll see – for me, Hardy has built up enough cred. that I'm willing to hear how it will be approached before writing it off.

  • Winer


    In re: St. Vini and others: Ummm, as Homer would say, and no, not he of the wine-dark sea, but that other Homer, Doh! Once you take a buck from the man, the man owns you. Period. I don't see how anyone can put the word "independent" in any sentence involving this whole thing with a straight face. It's the payola of our time, and things are only going to get worse as media outlets decline and the quote unquote FREE CONTENT internet model prevails. Crap in, crap out, you get what you pay for, and you pay for what you get.

    • 1WineDude


      Some amazing content is available for free, though…

  • Charlie Olken


    Seems to me that we all know who a guy who works for a winery works for. There has never been any attempt to portray it differently by MG or KJ. I expect, as we all do, that Hardy will do as good a job as he can in attracting attention to MG via the new media.

    What none of us know is whether he will be a great read in that role or an unmitigated shill. And none of us know whether this job will lead to bigger and better things for him and start a trend at wineries or not.

    I think Winer is too pessimistic about free content on the internet. I see it as just the opposite. There is an amazing amount of free content, but as AppellationAmerica found out, free content costs money and time, and those twin demands are going to limit how much free content will be available over time and certainly what kinds of free content.

    Still, Hardy has a nice gig. I hope he enjoys it, and I hope when it's over, he will find another nice gig or be happy to go back to his previous stand.

    • 1WineDude


      If I had to look into my crystal ball… I'd guess that Hardy will continue to provide interesting and honest content via both DSW and M-G, though we can likely assume some editing will take place for the M-G content.

      As for what comes afterwards – I think that result will end up being positive for both wineries AND bloggers…

    • 1WineDude


      If I had to look into my crystal ball… I'd guess that Hardy will continue to provide interesting and honest content via both DSW and M-G, though we can likely assume some editing will take place for the M-G content.

      As for what comes afterwards – I think that result will end up being positive for both wineries AND bloggers…

  • Michael Homula


    As with any great social media, marketing or "anything" campaign the results must be measured properly in order to evaluate success. While I have no doubt Hardy will be a great voice and engage people in a way MG never has experienced the trick is the ROI of the entire affair.

    Even other industries and businesses have struggled to quantify, qualify and measure the ROI of social media endeavors beyond the anecdotal. There is some quantifiable numbers and statistics starting to show up in the recruiting space for the ROI of social media in finding, attracting and hiring talent but even that is under some intense scrutiny from business professionals.

    Time and results will tell. It's all about the metrics and the real world ROI in terms of new customers, revenue, bottles sold, new markets entered etc. Those are the numbers many are waiting, with baited breath, to see.

    Go get em' Hardy and great post Joe!
    Michael

  • Michael Homula


    As with any great social media, marketing or "anything" campaign the results must be measured properly in order to evaluate success. While I have no doubt Hardy will be a great voice and engage people in a way MG never has experienced the trick is the ROI of the entire affair.

    Even other industries and businesses have struggled to quantify, qualify and measure the ROI of social media endeavors beyond the anecdotal. There is some quantifiable numbers and statistics starting to show up in the recruiting space for the ROI of social media in finding, attracting and hiring talent but even that is under some intense scrutiny from business professionals.

    Time and results will tell. It's all about the metrics and the real world ROI in terms of new customers, revenue, bottles sold, new markets entered etc. Those are the numbers many are waiting, with baited breath, to see.

    Go get em' Hardy and great post Joe!
    Michael

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